Home > Home, property, and development > Public safety > Prepare for disasters > When to evacuate or take shelter in a building

When to evacuate or take shelter in a building

Buildings in Vancouver

In an emergency, you may need to:

  • Evacuate your home and neighbourhood, or
  • Stay where you are and shelter-in-place

The City of Vancouver has a plan to coordinate evacuations when they are required by us or the Province of BC to keep people safe.

Be prepared and review:

  1. The evacuation stages
  2. How you'll get notified
  3. Evacuating your home
  4. Taking shelter at home, at work, and in your car

Know the evacuation stages

Stage 1 – Evacuation alert

Stage 2 – Evacuation order

Stage 3 – Evacuation rescind

How you'll get notified of evacuations

Evacuation alerts and orders are communicated by:

  • Officials going door-to-door
  • A police or fire vehicle with a loudspeaker
  • Radio, television, social media, and the VanConnect smartphone app

Evacuating your home

If an evacuation order is issued, learn what to do as you leave the area immediately.

Sheltering-in-place (taking shelter indoors)

Shelter-in-place orders are issued for situations that:

  • Only last a few hours
  • Are not safe to evacuate

If an shelter-in-place order is issued, learn what to do as you take shelter indoors immediately.

At home

At work

In your vehicle

Contact the Office of Emergency Management

Phone: 3-1-1